PLANNING | Speakers House offices tipped for go-ahead

Kames Property Income Fund’s plans for a 17-storey office building on the site of Speakers House, as well as a hotel on Whitworth Street and an extension of Cavendish House are being determined by Manchester City Council next week.

The 39 Deansgate Speakers House site, at the junction with St Mary’s Gate, has undergone two rounds of consultation, both triggering a handful of individual objections and a group objection representing residents in neighbouring No.1 Deansgate.

In a £40m proposal, Kames wants to build a 130,000 sq ft of office space, along with 5,000 sq ft of flexible retail and leisure pace at ground floor. Kames bought the site in March 2018 for £11m.


Speakers House site

39 Deansgate

The site abuts the historic Barton Arcade on Deansgate

Developer: Kames Property Income Fund

Architect: Sheppard Robson

Planner: CBRE

Heritage advisor: Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture

Townscape advisor: Planit-IE

Built in 1963, Speakers House is nine storeys tall, with seven ground floor commercial units. The building underwent a superficial refurbishment in 2013 but is described by officers as “in a poor state…lacking new infrastructure such as superfast broadband” with inefficient floorplates and low floor-to-ceiling heights.

Concerns have been raised over the impact on heritage assets, including the St Ann’s Square Conservation Area, and Barton Arcade, next door to the site. Although consultee Historic England notes “concerns” officers sum up that the building will have a “neutral impact” on the area.

Cavendish House

Cavendish House

Sam’s Chop House will remain below the building

Developer: Investream

Architect and heritage advisor: Atelier MB Urban Architects

Planner: Avison Young

Investream’s plans are for the refurbishment and extension by two storeys of Cavendish House, as well as a change of use to remove the restaurant space formerly occupied by Chaophraya to create further office space.

The four-storey Cavendish House, which has frontages to Chapel Walks, Pall Mall and Back Pool Fold, is grade two-listed and sits within the Upper King Street conservation area. Sam’s Chop House will be retained, and the business’s owner has submitted its support for the project.

Officers note both that the project would make the building more accessible, and that the plans to reinstate the building’s historic chimneys will replace the “temporary” 1940s roof structure.

2-4 Whitworth Street


Developer: Maizelands and Arringord, c/o Aberdeen Standard Investments

Architect: Glenn Howells Architects

Planner: JLL

Heritage advisor: Kathryn Sather & Associates

The site next to Deansgate railway station would be knocked down and replaced with an eight-storey hotel, necessitating the closure of Rowendale Street. Tthe 152-bedroom hotel would occupy the street and the blocks either side.

Although the vacant warehouse buildings concerned are not listed, the station and its viaduct are, and there is concern over the loss of further Victorian buildings in the Knott Mill area: 57 objections have been lodged over the plan.


Adelphi site, Moston


FCH’s designs for the Adelphi site include 33 apartments

Developer: Adelphi (Kenyon Lane) Developments

Architect: Falconer Chester Hall

Planner: Zerum

Also going before the committee, with a ‘minded to approve’ recommendation, is the demolition of the 1937 Art Deco Adelphi Cinema site in Moston, which in more recent years has been in use as a DIY store. The applicant proposes the building of 33 apartments in a four-storey block on the Kenyon Lane site. The project has attracted 57 letters of objection, although none from council members.

Falconer Chester Hall, the scheme’s architect, submitted with the plans a study of two options that would retain in full or part the historic façade of the building. But it concluded that improving existing parts to thermal, acoustic and fire standards would make the scheme unviable.

Your Comments

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The Deansgate scheme is fantastic but they don’t have the funding. The Travelodge is dreadful.

By Dan

Why are they intent on destroying Whitworth Street? There is nice little collection of old buildings there. Surely the drab dross could be built where it is more in keeping – like the horror that is First Street.

By Loganberry

Speakers House – love
Cavendish House – looks horrendous!
2-4 Whitworth St – again, horrendous!
Adelphi – looks good for Moston

By Steve

2-4 Whitworth St , No, ..just no.,Everything else yes.

By Anonymous

39 Deansgate looks fantastic, hopefully it will trigger revitalisation of this area, Reneissance hotel and that building where cosmo restaurant is located are begging for demolition

By Michael

The 2-4 Whitworth Street scheme is a disgrace. What this article doesn’t cover is the fact there are two beautiful late C19 and early C20 buildings there which would be lost in favour of a budget hotel that looks like it has been designed by a four year old.

By Observer

2-4 Whitworth street is hideous and what is the obsession with slapping glass extensions ontop of historic listed buildings? What’s the point in listing if you change the look of the building? Manchester council seems quite happy for most of it Victorian buildings to be destroyed.

By Anonymous

Speakers House – Great.
Cavendish house – What is that abomination growing out of the lovely building?
Whitworth Street – Step away from the redbrick warehouses and take it back to Telford.

By ...

The Cavendish House scheme is a blatant rip off the Muse’s Riverside House near New Bailey. Really do not like the Whitworth Street proposal, particularly the loss of the street link under the viaduct. A real shame to see the red brick warehouse buildings go.

By Bradford

It`s only a bit of history so demolish and rebuild. There is not that much left now anyway.

By Anonymous

The Speakers House design is excellent and replaces a dreadful office block on the other hand the 2-4 Whitworth Street proposal is shockingly dull and would replace attractive buildings which already complement the locality.

By Monty

Speakers House – clever proposal with Seifert-esque bronze sprandels and lovely floral-like detail. Actually goes quite well next to Barton arcade. Surprisingly really good. A game changer on this site.

Whitworth Street – oh dear…


If the planning committee can reject the application to demolish derelict buildings in the North Quarter they must reject the proposal to demolish historic buildings on Whitworth Street to construct a truly dreadful hotel building.

By Anonymous

Cavendish House certainly does looks horrendous, the roof addition is far too overbearing, a simpler, cleaner addition would work much better (regardless of what is there at present)

By Daniel

I’m flabbergasted that the Whitworth St would even be considered….it should be thrown out without question, and the building kept.

By Manc Man

Anonymous,,,,,,,,,you sound completely out of touch Bro. When these Victorian buildings were built, Manchester was a completely different animal. There old buildings need to be financially viable, whether that income stream is through Residential, Office or Leisure usage. The new Amazon HQ on Corporation Street is another Victorian gem which required an extension on top and an extensive refit inside to make it suitable for large, open plan modern offices. Incidentally, the extension on the Corporation Street building looks a lot uglier than this Chapel Walks/Pall Mall development,,,nuff said.

By Bilderburg Attendee

Speakers house site looked great. The bronze colour but I love the corner design and they have gave every thought to each building on both sides the way the levels carry through.

Obvious objections from No1 deansgate who believe buying an expensive apartment built at height should prevent similar development at height. You would think they were seeing a housing estate built on green belt next to their country mansion!

By Anonymous

I bought in No 1 Deansgate in 2002 with the agent telling us that the Renaissance was being knocked down soon. Look now.


Travelodge is hideous

By Anonymous

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